Rotary Bulletin Nov. 25, 2014

Get ready… Get set… Vote!

The next round of voting for the Aviva grant towards the Food Bank project begins this coming Monday, December 1.
                When we voted, earlier this fall, we got into the top 15 in our group. This time we have to do better, and we have stiffer competition. So please do the following:
First: go to and register.
Second: send an e-mail to so that you can get a daily reminder to vote for the Food Bank.
Third: tell all your friends to do the same.
                In the last round of voting, about 800 people voted for our project, but we got only 3200 votes – which means that many of those people only voted once. (Some, of course, voted every day.) We need everyone to vote every day from December 1 to December 10.
                The need for a permanent home for the Food Bank is getting more urgent. In the last month or so, Phyllis MacPherson says, the number of people depending on the food bank has risen from about 600 to about 800. Because of the limited space, only one or two Food Bank clients can come inside at a time; the rest have to line up outside in the cold, the rain, and the snow.
                The School District has put the building up for sale. The Food Bank could find itself out in the cold, too.
                If we win $100,000 from Aviva, we should have just about enough reserves to start signing contracts for construction next spring.

Leaves of Absence

                Trish Lugrin asked me to put this notice in the newsletter.
                When you go away for more than four meetings, please request a Leave of Absence. With a small club, any absences reflect poorly on our club attendance record. In a club of 100, one member's absence makes only a 1% difference; in a club of 25, any member's absence drops our attendance level by 4%. During the winter, we may have, at any time, 6 or more members away on long-term trips to sunshine and warmth -- which means, from Rotary's perspective, that our club attendance is down by 25%. Rotary expects every club to maintain a certain attendance level. By granting Leaves of Absence, we lower the attendance threshold that's required of our club, and can continue to generate favourable attendance records.
                We encourage make-ups, of course. It's good for the member, and good for Rotary as a whole. But make-ups entered into the records three or four months after they happen don't update attendance records retroactively. Each month gets "closed off" for Rotary's official records soon after the month ends; later corrections apply to the individual's attendance records, but not to the club's.
                That's why we ask you to register you for a Leave of Absence. You'll still get credit for the make-ups you do, wherever you are, but in the meantime it will help to keep our club from looking as if attendance has been slipping.

A murmuration of starlings

                “Murmuration” is apparently the correct name for those huge swirls of starlings in the sky – just before they strip your orchard, vineyard, or mountain ash tree bare!
                Last Thursday we had Karen (whose last name I didn’t get entered onto the Attendance Sheet) tell us about trapping starlings to reduce the population of this invasive species. Starlings are not native to North America. They were introduced to New York by a well-meaning Shakespeare fanatic who thought America should have all species of birds referred to in Shakespeare’s plays. Since then they have spread everywhere, and often drive out the native songbirds.
                Karen explained that the birds are live-trapped, and then euthanized by carbon-dioxide – quick acting and painless.